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9 Key Uses for Plastic Buckets Around an Elementary School

Buckets are simple, durable, cheap, and absolutely vital for elementary schools. They have some obvious uses, but they can also play a role in the teaching process by teachers who are willing to put in a little extra effort. All it takes is some creativity and a willingness to try something new with the lessons.

1- Growing Plants

An elementary classroom can grow plants to learn about how they develop over time. Since fragile things have a tendency to break in the classroom, it’s best to keep the plants in something sturdy. A bucket is an excellent choice. The teacher can even modify it to help keep the plants water, in case the students forget to take care of them.

2- Holding Supplies

Teachers need a way to keep classroom supplies organized, especially the ones that they use in large quantities. According to Affordable American Containers, miniature buckets are a great way to store pencils, while larger buckets can hold rulers, balls, and any other miscellaneous objects that happen to be necessary in the classroom.

3- Improvised Instruments

Almost every child has flipped a bucket over and used the bottom as a drum. Most people do it for fun, but it’s a decent way to teach basic musical concepts without paying for a huge number of proper instruments. Simply tapping the bucket in time with the music is a great way to teach students about rhythm. The ones that go on to study music in depth will need to get proper instruments, but a simple bucket is good enough to give a basic understanding to novices. In some cases, it can even be better than using a real drum, since it’s less likely to suffer damage from a student that hits it with excessive force.

4- Worm Habitats

Young students often learn to appreciate nature by seeing it in action. One of the best ways to do so is to convert a bucket into a worm habitat and create vermicompost at the school. It gives them a chance to learn about worms, but making compost also illustrates the natural cycle of growth and decay. It smells a little bad, so the bucket does need to stay outside, but it’s a powerful teaching tool.

5- Cleaning Up

Kids make messes. That is simply a fact of life that every teacher needs to accept. Fortunately, a bucket of water, a little bit of soap, and a mop are more than sufficient for dealing with most of the messes that a student will make. Keeping some basic cleaning supplies in the classroom can deal with minor messes without disrupting the class too badly, while every janitor will need a big bucket to deal with the bigger messes that sometimes show up.

6- Recess Fun

Small children will play with anything. A couple of small buckets should go with every sandbox, but they can also stand on their own as toys. Simply decorate them in bright colors so that they look interesting, and leave them in the play area. The kids will use them in their own games, and all the teacher needs to do is supervise to make sure there are no accidents.

7- Portable Seating

It’s great to take a class outside every so often. Unfortunately, it’s far too easy to get clothes dirty or cover them in grass stains while doing so. Small students can use an overturned bucket as a portable seat. It’s much easier to bring out of them outside than it is to carry a full chair, but it’s just as effective in the short term.

8- Mixing Ingredients

There are times when a class needs to mix dyes or other substances as part of an activity. Doing it in a cheap bucket is usually the best options. Buckets are big enough to prevent most spills, but cheap enough that you don’t need to worry about contaminating them with whatever the class is mixing.

9- Arts and Crafts

Craft materials are expensive, especially for an entire class. Young children can cultivate their skills by decorating buckets, which is much cheaper than most of the other options. This is especially good if the class has access to a sandbox, is growing plants, or has another use for the buckets in mind.